Transitioning with Mercy

Read: Genesis 45:1-15, 50:15-21

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus [Joseph] comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (50:20-21)

Joseph had every right to be angry at his brothers and hold their hurtful actions against them. Perhaps someone in your life has caused you harm, pain, or embarrassment. Maybe an ex-spouse contributed to a divorce, a friend let you down, a boss terminated your employment, or a trusted individual misused their power.

By the time Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt during the famine, Joseph had risen to a position of power that gave him the opportunity to “make them pay.” Yet, despite all the pain he had endured Joseph responded with mercy and forgiveness because he saw how God brought good out of a bad situation.

If you have endured a painful transition, can you look back and see ways God brought some good from it? Perhaps time in prison led to personal transformation, a lost job led to a more fulfilling role, or a second marriage brought you hope and happiness. In Romans 8:28, the apostle Paul reminds us that eventually—either on this side of heaven or in glory, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.”—Steve Petroelje

As you pray, ask God to help you see the good that comes out of hard times and ask him to help you be a source of mercy and hope to others.

About the Author

Steve Petroelje

Rev. Steve Petroelje is a specialized transition pastor who serves vacant churches and helps them assess health, pursue missional effectiveness, and conduct a pastoral search process. He is the past-president of the Words of Hope Board of Trustees.